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Hernando neighbors | Alfread Nickoles, 64

From '6th Platter' singer to chaplain for veterans

Alfread Nickoles will serve as the chaplain for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 67.

Jean Hayes | Times

Alfread Nickoles will serve as the chaplain for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 67.

How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?

We moved to Spring Hill from Massachusetts in December 2004. Before that, we lived in California.

Who are the members of your family?

My mother, Carmel Nickoles, is 84 years old and lives in California. My wife, Barbara, and I have been married for 22 years. She is a toll collector for the Suncoast Parkway. Between us we have five children. My daughter, Amber Nickoles, attends Pasco-Hernando Community College and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. My son David Nickoles lives in Georgia, and my son Aaron Nickoles lives in California.

My stepdaughter, Stacy Trammell, lives in New Hampshire, and my stepson, Jason Trammell, lives in Massachusetts.

We have four grandchildren: Kyle Michael, 15, Jake Ryan, 8, Jayden Ross, 6, and Arianna Kelly, 4.

I have three brothers and seven sisters, but my sister-in-law, June Hemeon, is like a sister to me.

Tell us about your career.

Right after high school, I volunteered for duty in the Air Force and did a tour in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. Since then, I've been in the entertainment business.

In 1970, I joined up with the Buck Ram Platters, a spinoff of the original Platters group, first as their road manager and then, later, a singer. They use to call me the "Sixth Platter." We toured in Southeast Asia.

Then in 1984, while we were both volunteering for the USO at Travis Air Force Base in California, I met my wonderful wife. She put in so many hours that year, she was awarded Volunteer of the Year.

What kinds of activities are you involved in now?

I've been blessed for the past three years to sing in different venues in the area. I'm also a minister. I was ordained a minister in 1975. I have ministered at different nursing homes and assisted living facilities, along with my wife and our dog, Max, who is used as therapy at the nursing homes and facilities. Max is a member of Compassionate Paws, a Hernando-Pasco Hospice dog therapy program primarily intended to help residents using hospice, but he helps folks at many different places.

My wife and I have also worked with Habitat for Humanity in the Dade City area. This year, I was installed and will serve for the 2008-09 term as the chaplain for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 67 in Brooksville. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

Do you have any special hobbies?

Yes, I love taking long walks, collecting coins, bottles and books.

What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?

Just being able to get out with my wife and our dog makes me happy. We just really enjoy all of Florida.

What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?

More public transportation, especially on the weekends, when THE Bus doesn't run.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

I've written a book about my life — before, during and after — with the Platters, titled Will the Real Platter Please Stand Up. I still have to get the book published. I have also recorded a song I wrote, with my wife and daughter on backup, titled It's Only as Real as It Feels.

Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at jhayes@sptimes.com or 848-1438.

From '6th Platter' singer to chaplain for veterans 06/07/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 7, 2008 10:24am]
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